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Another Top 10 Scariest Movie Endings

VO: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Nick Miller
Script Written by Nick Miller. These are the endings that still keep us up at night. Join as we count down our picks for another top 10 scariest movie endings. We’ll be going through the terrifying climaxes of all these movies, so obviously, spoiler warning.

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Another Top 10 Scariest Movie Endings

These are the endings that still keep us up at night. Welcome to, and today, we’re counting down our picks for another top 10 scariest movie endings.
We’ll be going through the terrifying climaxes of all these movies, so obviously, spoiler warning.

#10: “Paranormal Activity” (2007)

2007’s low-budget, found footage phenomenon “Paranormal Activity” shows us the slow and deliberate possession of Katie by a demonic spirit, as her boyfriend Micah attempts to document their new house’s haunting. At the film’s end, the demon finally takes full control of Katie, luring Micah out of bed after her usual hours of creepy night-looming. The audience is limited to the stationary camera view of the dark hallway as we hear the horrific screams of Micah downstairs before they’re suddenly and brutally cut off. After a tense period of silence, Micah’s body is flung from the darkness into the camera as we see a blood-soaked Katie standing in the doorway. Truly chilling.

#9: “Buried” (2010)

Hopefully you aren’t too claustrophobic. This Ryan Reynolds vehicle is about an American truck driver in Iraq who is kidnapped and buried alive for ransom. Reynolds’ Paul is given a cell phone and a few supplies and has to try to survive until he can be rescued. By the movie’s end, it seems as though rescue is on the way for Paul, only for it to be a misdirection. The film ends with the rescue crew digging in the wrong place as Paul’s damaged coffin fills up with sand, suffocating him. It’s a dark ending that we do not see coming.

#8: “Hereditary” (2018)

This horror hit may just be an instant classic. “Hereditary” tells the story of a mother of two and her family in the aftermath of the death of her own mother (who may or may not have been, but definitely was, a witch). After the shocking death of the family’s daughter, Charlie, early on in the film, things only escalate from there, culminating with the possession of Annie and a pagan ritual to summon a demon known as Paimon. The film’s final minutes are hectic and terrifying, with Annie’s son Peter trying to comprehend what is happening before he dies and is possessed by the demon, before the film abruptly ends with him being hailed as a demon king.

#7: “Sleepaway Camp” (1983)

This 1984 slasher cult classic starts off as a particularly creative summer camp massacre movie before its shocking twist ending. After a flashback seemingly shows the death of Angela’s father and brother in a boating accident, she goes to live with her aunt, and is sent off to summer camp with her cousin a few years later. At the film’s conclusion, after a series of gruesome murders, Angela is, yes, shown to be the killer. Not only that, but it is revealed that she isn’t Angela at all, but is in fact her long-thought-to-be-dead brother Peter, who survived the boat accident but was raised as a girl by his aunt.

#6: “The Wicker Man” (1973)

No, not the remake starring Nicolas Cage. We’re talking about the original film here. “The Wicker Man” follows police officer Neil Howie, who is sent to a remote Scottish island to try to locate a missing girl. Howie becomes embroiled in the Pagan religion of the islanders, and Howie slowly uncovers a plot to use the missing girl as a human sacrifice. Near the film’s climax, this is revealed to be a ruse, and the true sacrifice is Howie himself. The horror cult classic ends with Sergeant Howie burning alive in a giant Wicker Man structure as the sun sets.

#5: “The Shining” (1980)

This 1980 classic based on the Stephen King novel tells the story of the Torrance family’s tenure as winter caretakers of the remote Overlook Hotel in Colorado. Throughout the winter, former alcoholic Jack Torrance is driven mad by ghosts of the hotel’s past. When Jack finally snaps and goes after his wife Wendy and their son Danny, all hell breaks loose. Jack chases Danny into the snowy labyrinth of the hotel’s giant maze, where his son outwits him and escapes with his mother while Jack freezes to death. If that wasn’t enough, the film concludes with an eerie picture implying Jack has been adopted as one of the many ghosts of the Overlook Hotel.

#4: “The Descent” (2005)

This British horror flick terrified audiences with its release in 2005. When a group of friends growing apart decide to schedule a spelunking trip together, they are confronted with monstrous creatures known as crawlers. After being picked off one by one and even betrayed by one of their own, the last survivor Sarah, along with the audience, believes she has escaped the cave. This is quickly revealed to be nothing more than a hallucination, and Sarah is back alone in the cave, with the creatures moving in for the kill. It’s a dark ending that was changed for its United States theatrical release.

#3: “The Omen” (1976)

This ‘70s classic finds the Antichrist himself secretly and unwittingly adopted by American diplomat Robert Thorn shortly after the death of his son in childbirth. Young Damien is raised by the ambassador and his wife, played by veteran actors Gregory Peck and Lee Remick. By the time Thorn comes to understand what the boy is, it’s too late. After the death of his wife and confirmation that Damien is the son of Satan, Thorn tries to take Damien to a church so he can kill him, but is stopped by police who see a man attempting to murder a young boy. Thorn is killed, and Damien is able to continue in his role as the Antichrist.

#2: “Mulholland Drive” (2001)

David Lynch’s dense and nightmare-inducing film has been called one of the best films of the 2000s, in part due to its horrifying conclusion. After spending most of the movie in what many interpreted as an extended dream sequence, Naomi Watts’ Diane, an actress, wakes up to her failed Hollywood life, where she may have hired a hitman to kill her lover. Or not. The movie’s ending sees Diane plagued by visions and voices in her apartment before she commits suicide. Though the film and its ending may be abstract and open to much interpretation, there’s no doubt that Lynch succeeds in still being able able to provoke terror in audiences.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

“Saw” (2004)

“Ju-On: The Curse 2” (2000)
“The Witch” (2015)

#1: “Carrie” (1976)

The second Stephen King adaptation on our list, this Oscar-nominated 1976 film tells the tale of psychic high school student Carrie White, who is constantly subjected to intense bullying and an abusive mother. After being elected prom queen, only to be doused in pig’s blood as a prank by a few students, Carrie launches a telekinetic attack on all the students, eventually burning the school to the ground with everyone locked inside. She heads home, only to be attacked by her mother, who she promptly kills along with herself. At the very end of “Carrie,” the only surviving student, Sue, has a terrifying nightmare of Carrie’s hand grabbing at her from the grave.

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